Chicago Steps Up to the Plate in… | Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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Chicago Steps Up to the Plate in Tobacco-Free Baseball Campaign

Statement of Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
March 11, 2016

WASHINGTON, DC – Once again Chicago is playing a leading role in protecting kids from tobacco use by becoming the first Midwest city to move to take tobacco out of baseball once and for all. Alderman Edward Burke today introduced legislation to eliminate smokeless tobacco use in professional and amateur baseball and other sporting events across the city – including Wrigley Field and U.S. Cellular Field, home of the Cubs and White Sox.

Our national pastime should be about promoting a healthy and active lifestyle, not a deadly and addictive product. Today’s announcement adds to the incredible momentum to get tobacco out of baseball for kids, the players and the future. By enacting this proposal and other strong measures now before the Council to reduce tobacco use, Chicago will help make the next generation tobacco-free. We applaud Alderman Burke for introducing this legislation and for his efforts to protect the health of our children.

In the past year, San Francisco, Boston and Los Angeles have enacted local laws prohibiting tobacco use at sports venues, including their professional baseball stadiums. These laws will be in effect by the start of the 2016 baseball season; a statewide law in California will take effect before the 2017 season. Legislation is under consideration in New York City with the support of both the Mets and the Yankees and in Toronto with the support of the Blue Jays.

By enacting the pending legislation, New York and Chicago can bring to 10 the number of major league stadiums that will be completely tobacco-free – that’s one-third of all major league ballparks. It’s time for Major League Baseball and its players to set the right example for our kids and promptly agree to prohibit smokeless tobacco use at all major league ballparks.